Outagamie County Board supervisor faces scrutiny over comments viewed as transphobic by some

Allegations of transphobic comments made by Outagamie County Supervisor
Published: May. 17, 2023 at 9:17 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

APPLETON, Wis. (WBAY) - Supervisor Tim Hermes spoke out on the issue of people who are transgender right after a presentation on diversity, equity and inclusion - made to the county board on May 9, 2023.

Since then, Hermes claimed he’d been bullied by people who don’t agree with what he decided to share.

Since Outagamie County doesn’t record it’s board meetings, we can’t share the exact words that were used by Supervisor Tim Hermes regarding people who are transgender - but others were present. According to them, it was completely unexpected.

“I think that the comments were pretty surprising. There were audible gasps at least from the supervisors who were around me and I can tell you everybody felt uncomfortable,” explained Steve Thiede, also a Supervisor in Outagamie County.

He recounted what was said from his recollection: “Somehow they’re men that are dressing up as women and going into bathrooms and changing rooms to prey on girls, and I mean there’s absolutely no foundation to those comments.”

Supervisor Hermes released a written statement after he was asked to comment. It reads: “I have no issues with the trans community. Everybody deserves the same equality, respect and the right to feel safe. I did nothing wrong. I have a right to free speech. I don’t find it appropriate for me to be bullied for doing my job.”

Thiede added the sentence “I am personally offended.”

Supervisor Thiede noted that there was a protest Tuesday, outside of the county administration building as a result of the comments made.

Outagamie County Executive Tom Nelson said that he’s concerned about the image now presented: “It’s very clear, that regardless of those comments, it’s not who we are. It’s not what we stand for and as county executive I want to make it very clear that Outagamie County is a very open, welcoming, and inclusive community for all.”

It is currently unknown whether any action will be taken against Supervisor Hermes for his comments. Our reporter in Appleton was told that the decision is up to the county’s corporation counsel, and board leadership.